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Over half of Change UK's 11 MPs have resigned, weeks after the party formed on an anti-Brexit platform

The party was created by disillusioned MPs from the Conservative and Labour parties.

File photo of of Change UK's 11 MPs taken in February
File photo of of Change UK's 11 MPs taken in February
Image: Stefan Rousseau/PA Images

CHANGE UK, BRITAIN’S breakaway anti-Brexit party, appears to have imploded just weeks after its formation, following the resignation of six of its 11 MPs today.

The party was created by disillusioned MPs from the Conservative and Labour parties, and promised to forge a new pro-European path in British politics.

But it failed to win any seats in last month’s European Parliament elections – earning just 3% of the vote – and was divided over how closely it would work with other parties who want Britain to stay in the EU.

Leader Heidi Allen was among the six MPs who quit today. She was replaced by Anna Soubry, a fellow former Conservative known for her outspoken opposition to Brexit.

Allen had suggested supporters vote tactically to maximise the pro-European vote during the elections, a decision Soubry described afterwards as “bizarre”.

Change UK rally Anna Soubry will become the party's new leader following the resignation of Heidi Allen Source: PA Wire/PA Images

Soubry said she was “deeply disappointed” at the resignations, but said her party would keep working towards future elections.

“Now is not the time to walk away, but instead to roll up our sleeves and stand up for the sensible mainstream centre ground which is unrepresented in British politics today,” she said in a statement.

Allen and fellow ex-Conservative Sarah Wollaston, and former Labour MPs Luciana Berger, Gavin Shuker, Angela Smith and Chuka Umunna will now sit as independents in parliament.

“We know the landscape will continue to shift within the political environment and have concluded that by returning to sit as independents, we will be best placed to work cross-party and respond flexibly,” they said.

- © AFP 2019

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